Georges Niang discusses MVP race between Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic
PHILADELPHIA–Once again, the MVP race is coming down to the two best centers in the league. Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is taking on Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic for the third straight year for the MVP trophy.
Jokic has won the last two MVP awards with Embiid finishing as the runner-up both times and, at the moment, Jokic is leading Embiid again. They are both incredible players and they are having huge years once again, but only one guy can win it.
Embiid is leading the league in scoring at 33.4 points and is averaging 10.1 rebounds with 4.1 assists while Jokic is averaging a triple-double at 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 10.0 assists for the West-leading Nuggets. It could go to either guy.
“After last year, I try not to get too emotionally wrapped up into it,” said Georges Niang. “I just think, I get to see the best center or one of the best centers to ever play the game, the best center right now in the game work craft, and I focus more on appreciating that rather than doing the whole comparison thing.”
One could make the case that Embiid was the deserving player in the 2021-22 season as he led the league in scoring and was the first big man to do so since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 and he was the first big man to average 30 points per game since Moses Malone in 1982. However, they gave the award to Jokic.
“I don’t even know how that voting goes,” Niang continued. “I mean, I don’t pay attention to that because at the end of the day, why would we put any value into what other people think about the things that we craft and do on the daily? I get to see Joel work tirelessly at his game and it shows.”
There has been a lot of vitriol over the award process and how things have gone with this award recently, but Niang is deciding to take a better route and just focus on what Embiid brings to the table.
“If he doesn’t win the MVP, that doesn’t mean he’s not the MVP,” he finished. “It’s just some people decided, I don’t know how they got that role that he didn’t or did win MVP. He’s my MVP. Being able to be alongside him is remarkable how he works, how he approaches the game every day, every year, and just tries to get a little bit better.”
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